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Mary Lyon Elementary School

Providing approximately 56,000 sq ft of innovative learning spaces for students, this replacement elementary school is a place for the community to gather and continue making its own history.

Tacoma Public Schools
Tacoma, WA
2019 Completed
56,675 sq ft Area
3 Storeys
450 Students

Serving 450 students with programs for inclusive autism, ESL, and pre-kindergarten through to grade 5, Mary Lyon Elementary School will provide dedicated educators with a collaborative setting, valuable engagement services, and act as a beacon of hope for this tight-knit but under-served neighborhood.

The three-story building and L-shaped plan preserve its valuable outdoor space for play on one of Tacoma’s smallest school sites, while an entry plaza both invites the community in and honors the school’s tradition of each teacher, parent, and student gathering at the day’s transitions for camaraderie and security.

A boldly-designed library dramatically spans all three stories of the school, and references to the Puget Sound setting are woven into the building’s architectural and site elements. The rich themes offer different layers of discovery and a sense of equity and empathy amongst students of various backgrounds. Classroom neighborhoods with moving walls allow for camaraderie, informal learning in shared areas, and flexibility of project-based modes of learning and gathering in this next-generation Learning+ facility.

Expressive and practical sustainability is embedded throughout the design, from storm water features to exterior sun shades, and roofs covered with large arrays of photovoltaic panels.

Library inside Mary Lyon Elementary School
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James D. MacConnell Award,
By Association for Learning Environments

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Grand Prize winner


New Construction/Addition,
By Learning By Design

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Crow Island School Citation


Common Areas,
By Educational Interiors Showcase

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Community Engagement Drives Design for Tacoma School


School Construction,
By Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce

A new generation of minds is reshaping the way we approach education at all levels of learning.
This three-storey elementary school will provide an inclusive space for students and the surrounding Tacoma community.

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